Vinyl: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1
Vinyl

Critics Consensus

Vinyl doesn't always keep the beat, dramatically speaking, but overall, it capably honors the rock pioneers of the '70s with absorbing stories, a spot-on soundtrack, and rich period detail.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 73

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 680

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Episodes

Air date: Feb 14, 2016

In the premiere of this drama set in the volatile music industry in 1970s New York City, record-label president Richie Finestra desperately tries to save his company from professional crises and his own personal demons.

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Air date: Feb 21, 2016

A meeting with the Germans from Polygram ends in chaos when Richie shares his recent revelation, which catches everyone in the room, including his partners, by surprise. Meanwhile, Devon recalls her earlier—and better—days with Richie; and Jamie is glad that her boss likes The Nasty Bits, but is disappointed that she'll have to work with Julius to sign them.

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Air date: Feb 28, 2016

Richie is embarrassed at a record producers banquet honoring his mentor, Maury Gold, when a rival ribs him about the Polygram snafu. Later, Maury and a mob associate come looking for information about a detective's inquiry; Clark aims to sign Alice Cooper to a solo deal; Olivia envisions an old barn in the suburbs as a home for the arts; and Richie's idea for some of Lester's old material is not well received.

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Air date: Mar 6, 2016

Richie's counseling session with Devon brings out his uglier side, which she uses as ammunition during a meeting with an attorney, but he turns on the charm to woo a funk superstar. Meanwhile, Zak and Scott ponder their futures in the wake of the Polygram catastrophe; the Nasty Bits look for a new manager; and Skip strikes out trying to get rid of bootlegs.

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Air date: Mar 13, 2016

Devon joins Richie for dinner with Hannibal and Cece to help keep an important client in-house. Meanwhile, Kip is in danger of sabotaging a gig opening for the New York Dolls if he doesn't shake up the band; Richie tries to poach a known talent from a rival; and Jack gets a new job after a tense meeting with Julie.

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Air date: Mar 20, 2016

Devon retreats to safety among old friends at the Chelsea Hotel as Richie continues to descend into a lifestyle of debauchery.

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Air date: Mar 27, 2016

After selling the company jet in Los Angeles to raise some quick cash, Richie and Zak go to Las Vegas with a plan to woo Elvis Presley and convince him to sign a contract with American Century. Meanwhile, Clark struggles to fit in with his new coworkers in the mail room.

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Air date: Apr 3, 2016

Richie reaches out to Galasso for a loan when he's desperate for cash; Lester gives the Nasty Bits a lesson in the blues; Devon makes a good impression on a photographer at a club; Andrea clashes with a graphic designer over the company's logo; Clark's ear for talent could finally pay off after a night out with his coworkers.

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Air date: Apr 10, 2016

The Buck Rogers murder case creates a dangerous dilemma for Richie; Jamie moves in with Kip after she's thrown out of her aunt's town house; Maury envisions a tribute to the music of the 1950s; Zak tries to help Gary find a backing band.

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Air date: Apr 17, 2016

In the Season 1 finale, Zak hatches a risky scheme to topple Richie, while Kip's dangerous habits could torpedo a big Nasty Bits performance.

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Vinyl: Season 1 Videos

Vinyl: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

A record-label president tries to save his company in 1970s New York City.

News & Interviews for Vinyl: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Vinyl Season 1

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (38)

There's barely time to recover as every scene attempts a daring or inventive move of some sort. There aren't many shows you can say that about, which makes "Vinyl," even with its flaws, a success.

Feb 11, 2016 | Full Review…

As a team, Scorsese and Winter found greatness in Boardwalk Empire. Maybe they'll eventually find it here, too. I just wish they'd found it sooner. Bottom line, a disappointment.

Feb 11, 2016 | Rating: C | Full Review…
Top Critic

Vinyl is thoroughly rousing at its core, a crazed, dope-filled, sometimes dopey trip that begins in 1973 and has nothing in common with the earlier, comparatively sedate decade brought to you by AMC's Mad Men.

Feb 11, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

An exciting and completely unique dramedy, with music.

Feb 10, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's a rock 'n' roll show so good Vinyl literally brings the house down.

Feb 10, 2016 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

It looks fantastic, and it's lively and rambunctious, with good music, an endless supply of drugs, and enough ill-considered drama to give everyone something to gossip about the morning after.

Feb 9, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Vinyl is full of stilted characters and a quickly-forming identity crisis (is this show about music, or money?), hardly what appears to be the opening salvos of television's first new prestige drama of 2016.

Feb 11, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Drug-crazed macho preening is not Vinyl's biggest problem. It's characters seem to lack motivation (beyond "he's drug crazed") for almost anything they do.

Jan 13, 2020 | Full Review…

Yet, not even Scorsese at full-throttle was quite loud enough to drown out a sense that underneath all the ferocity were some stories so old-fashioned as to verge on the corny.

Sep 7, 2018 | Full Review…

If you are willing to invest many hours in a gorgeously scored, artfully crafted drama that takes effort to get invested in, then Vinyl is just the strain of Peruvian dancing dust to help you march toward TV nirvana.

May 31, 2018 | Full Review…

Vinyl resembles little more than a by-the-numbers hybrid of The Wolf of Wall Street and Mad Men, with tighter pants.

May 31, 2018 | Full Review…

Vinyl doesn't miss a beat. Like a well-sequenced album, the slightly nostalgic but pulsating series has an ebb and flow that stays in its own groove.

May 31, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Vinyl: Season 1

  • Oct 08, 2017
    Created by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, Vinyl is an HBO period drama about the music industry of the 1970s. Season 1 follows record company executive Richie Finestra who backs out of a sale at the last minute and decides to retool and launch a new label dedicated to new and edgy bands. Starring Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Olivia Wilde, and Juno Temple, the show has an incredible cast. It also features a pretty good soundtrack. And as one would expect, there’s a lot of interesting commentary about the music industry, and a number of real-life musicians are worked into the plot; including Elvis Presley, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, and John Lennon. However, the episodes can be a little hard to follow, with all the different character subplots. And the sex, curse language, and flagrant drug use are extremely gratuitous and end up making a lot of the characters dislikable. Unfortunately, in spite of the tremendously creative talent on and off the screen, Vinyl proved to be too much of a mess and was cancelled after one season.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 29, 2020
    I don't know what series all these Scorsese and Mick Jagger fan-boys were watching, but I turned it off after the first ½ hour of the pilot. Not knowing anything about this show, simply watched to be entertained or learn something. I was neither. I was bored to tears. In fact, the only reason I stuck with it so long was to see what they would do with Olivia Wilde. What did they do with her? A record executive's wife who takes care of two kids. No thank you. For those of you who didn't know that the music business in the 70's was full of illegal drugs, bribes & kickbacks and sleazy underhanded people, then you might find this interesting. But for the rest of the world, I'm left scratching my head, wondering what ever happened to telling a story? Everything was cliches. The most intriguing shot in the entire ½ hour was a close-up of a Zippo lighter igniting. Yeah, that's how lame this pilot was. So where did all the money go? $100 million for a season? It definitely didn't go to the screenwriters. My guess is it went to the all the sleazy record executives who own all the rights to all the original music that they used. Talk about irony.
  • Mar 25, 2019
    This is an incredible show that was poorly marketed. It is a drama set in one of the side businesses of organized crime. This is Goodfellas in Trumplandia. It should never have been left behind.
  • Jan 20, 2019
    I loved the first season. Too bad they cancelled the 2nd one
  • Jun 16, 2018
    Brilliant in every way. THE ENTIRE CAST IS OFF THE CHARTS. BOBBY CANNAVALE PUT HIS HEART AND SOUL AND CONSIDERABLE TALENT INTO THIS ROLE. EVERYONE DID. IT’S FULL IMMERSION IN THE NEVER TO BE REPEATED NYC OF THE '70S, AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE RECORD INDUSTRY. LIFE LIVED FULL OUT, PROFANE AND SACRED, ALL BUILT AROUND ART AND MUSIC (OKAY, AND MONEY). LUSCIOUS, IMAGINATIVE CINEMATOGRAPHY, GREAT STORY AND SCRIPT, STRONG SMART WOMEN. NOTHING IS HALFWAY. TOTALLY ENGAGING, TAKES YOU PLACES, A TREASURE. STAY WITH IT AND YOU’LL SEE. CAN'T BELIEVED IT WASN'T PICKED UP FOR MORE SEASONS, BUT THIS SEASON STANDS ALONE AS A COMPLETE PRODUCTION. IN VINYL WORLD (UNLIKE WALL STREET) ALL THE CRAZINESS, AS HIDEOUS AS IT MAY BE AT TIMES, ADDS UP TO THOSE POTENT, MAKE-LIFE-WORTH-LIVING MOMENTS OF MUSIC IN OUR LIVES. I HAVEN’T SEEN ANYTHING THIS FULL OF VITALITY IN A LONG, LONG TIME.
  • Nov 19, 2016
    I want to love it but it doesn't always grab you. Some good music references throughout
  • Aug 04, 2016
    Vinyl most likely would have been MUCH better off as a movie over a TV series. It was an exciting whirlwind of music and fashion in the 70's that didn't always make the mark but damn near tried to. Bobby Cannavale carries this show with the slick yet addicted Richie Finestra, newcomer James Jagger as the foul mouthed Kip, lead singer of The Nasty Bits, is a star. Juno Temples' Jamie acknowledges the continuous issue of gender equality in the work place, of women trying to get ahead in a strictly boy's club. The way the show ended sufficed as a series finale despite that it was picked up for a second season then cancelled, like Hindsight.
  • Jun 27, 2016
    You just cannot get a Scorsese product that isn't overlong and over-violent. Even the relatively good idea of focusing on the music industry of the early 70s is dragged down by a sub-plot involving gangsters, homicide and gratuitous violence. The plot itself was not that original to start with. Let's say it was very much inspired by Mad Men, with a couple in trouble (think Don and Betty Draper in 70s clothes) and an office environment, with a bunch of characters who could be the 70s version of Joan Holloway (Andrea Zito), Peggy Olson (Jamie Vine) and Pete Cambell (Clark Morelle). Unfortunately, following the record industry on a daily basis does not seem that much more interesting than advertising, despite the brush with rock stars. Having nowhere to go with the main plot, we are served plenty of mini-concerts and meetings with stars such as Lou Reed, the New York Dolls, David Bowie, etc... Since the multitude of musical encounters is not enough to fill the time, we get a nice homicide into the mix, together with use and abuse of cocaine and dumb policemen. Finally, the cast is not good. Cannavale as Richie Finestra is making a lot of noise every time he snorts cocaine, while everybody else can do that in silence. His character is obnoxious, Scorsese-style (egotistic macho-man) His screen wife, Olivia Wilde, is mainly useless except for nude scenes. Suburban housewives don't have much to say, even if they were Warhol's models. The young cast was probably selected thanks to nepotistic criteria, being the children of Dennis Quaid, Mick Jagger and Julien Temple. This does not make them good actors, Mr. Jagger's son being the worst of the bunch. However, the soundtrack is definitely good and that is why I give it a 3.... I am still disappointed, though, because music-wise the 70s were a great time and all we get to chronicle the times is this mess....
  • Jun 25, 2016
    DO NOT CANCEL THIS SHOW! IT IS AMAZING. IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DO EVEN BETTER IF IT IS RENEWED FOR ANOTHER SEASON.
  • Jun 05, 2016
    great... great show... so great

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